“I'm curious to see where I stand at this level, but on the road it's very difficult to win. There are so many factors involved," van Empel told Algemeen Dagblad after Brabantse Pijl. The 20-year old should be focusing on the classics, as do several of her male and female cyclocross colleagues, and has made her season debut at the Volta Limburg Classic. She rode to a promising 8th place there, but didn't have the same luck at the Brabantse Pijl.
Jonas Vingegaard ends spring campaign as he returns home and begins focus on Tour de France preparation
She rode over the line in 35th place, having suffered from mechanicals. It is nevertheless likely not a period where she experiences pressure to perform, but instead to find her own within the Dutch team. As the riders emerge from a rest and training period, the cyclocross field begins to compete on the road. Van Empel will be riding the Ardennes classics, Flèche Wallone at least being a near certainty in her calendar.
“We knew in advance that we had to be patient until we headed for the local laps. We wanted to remain with several riders in a small group towards the end of the race," team coach Carmen Small said in a press release. “It didn't quite go the way we had envisioned. We actually missed two riders in the front.”